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HomeHeadlinesHamas leader, Saleh Al-Arouri, killed in Beirut blast

Hamas leader, Saleh Al-Arouri, killed in Beirut blast

Hamas leader, Saleh Al-Arouri, killed in Beirut blast

 Hamas leader, Saleh Al-Arouri, killed in Beirut blast

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Hamas media outlet Al Aqsa TV said Saleh Al-Arouri, deputy head of the political bureau of Hamas, was “martyred in a treacherous Zionist airstrike in Beirut.”

Arouri was considered one of the founding members of the group’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and was based in Beirut. Two other leaders from Hamas’ military wing, Samir Findi Abu Amer and Azzam Al-Aqraa Abu Ammar were also among those killed in the strike, according to Hamas officials.

At least four people were killed in the attack that targeted an office belonging to Hamas in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahieh, Lebanese news agency NNA reported. The area is also a stronghold of Iran-backed Hezbollah.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) declined to comment when asked about the announcement and its spokesperson Daniel Hagari skirted a question from a reporter on Tuesday about the matter saying “We are focused on fighting against Hamas.”

But in a seemingly veiled reference to the killing, Israel’s far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich wrote on his official social media platforms that all of Israel’s enemies will “perish.”

Meanwhile, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, praised the Israeli security and intelligence agencies for what he said was the “assassination” of Arouri on Tuesday. “Anyone who was involved in the 7/10 massacre should know that we will reach out to them and close an account with them,” Danon said on X.

If confirmed, Arouri would be the most senior Hamas official killed by Israeli forces since the start of the war sparked by the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

In addition to dealing a blow to Hamas’ leadership, the attack also risks further broadening the arena of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

It would also mark the biggest Israeli strike on the Lebanese capital since the 2006 war between the two countries.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati condemned the attack and said the “explosion is a new Israeli crime” aimed at drawing Lebanon into a new phase of confrontation, referring to the months-long tit-for-tat conflict between Hezbollah and Israeli forces in the Lebanon-Israel border region

“We call on the concerned countries to put pressure on Israel to stop its targeting. We also warn against the Israeli political level resorting to exporting its failures in Gaza to the southern [Lebanese] border,” Mikati wrote on X.

If confirmed, Arouri would be the most senior Hamas official killed by Israeli forces since the start of the war sparked by the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

In addition to dealing a blow to Hamas’ leadership, the attack also risks further broadening the arena of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

It would also mark the biggest Israeli strike on the Lebanese capital since the 2006 war between the two countries.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati condemned the attack and said the “explosion is a new Israeli crime” aimed at drawing Lebanon into a new phase of confrontation, referring to the months-long tit-for-tat conflict between Hezbollah and Israeli forces in the Lebanon-Israel border region.

“We call on the concerned countries to put pressure on Israel to stop its targeting. We also warn against the Israeli political level resorting to exporting its failures in Gaza to the southern [Lebanese] border,” Mikati wrote on X.

“It has become clear to everyone near and far that the decision to go to war is in the hands of Israel, and what is required is to deter it and stop its aggression,” he added.

It would be recalled that Israel vowed to annihilate Hamas after its militants killed hundreds of people in Israel on October 7.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in November told a press conference that he had instructed the Mossad spy agency to act against “the heads of Hamas wherever they are.”

Israeli government spokesperson Mark Regev noted in an interview with MSNBC that Israel had “not taken responsibility” for the attack in Beirut. Regev, who is a senior adviser to Netanyahu, said “Whoever did it must be clear that this was not an attack on the Lebanese state. It was not an attack even on Hezbollah,” Regev said.

Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ political leader, called Arouri’s killing a “cowardly assassination” and blamed Israel for the deadly strike, as did the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, who have launched more than 100 attacks against about a dozen commercial and merchant ships transiting the Red Sea over the past few weeks.

(CNN)

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